We want to help all our children to be successful readers who love reading.

We hope that the information on this page will help you to understand our approach to reading and phonics, and give you ideas for how you can help at home.

If you have any questions about reading or phonics at Water Street, please speak to your child's class teacher.


At Water Street we teach 'Synthetic Phonics' using the Letters and Sounds programme. The children are introduced to this in our Reception Class and children progress through the phases during Key Stage 1. They learn how to read and spell words using their phonic knowledge. We use a wide range of teaching techniques and resources in our daily phonics sessions.  In addition to the Letters and Sounds programme we also use 'Jolly Phonics' and 'Jelly and Bean'. Parental links and attachments are listed below. Every year, during the Autumn term,  we hold an information evening for parents on the teaching of phonics and how these can be practised at home. 

Key Words

We also encourage pupils to learn words 'by sight'. These words are the common words that are not easy to build up using phonic methods (the tricky words!) and need to be practised until they are instantly recognisable.

Reading Books

Initially, our children are introduced to 'Jelly and Bean' books which introduce pupils to the different letter sounds. Pupils then progress onto main reading scheme, which is made up of  'Oxford Reading Tree', 'Big Cat'  and 'Project X'. We also have a wide variety of both fiction and non fiction reading books to enable children to develop reading skills and broaden their experience of different texts. 

At Water Street all of our reading books are organised 


After the children have moved through all of these levels they are given a 'free choice' of reading book from the extensive collection of fiction books and novels. The children are guided in their choice of book by their teacher to ensure they can access the text and understand the content. The children are encouraged to select books which cover a range of fiction and non fiction genres. 

Library Books

Our children also have access to our library which has a wide range of different texts. The children visit the library each week and are encouraged to choose a book of their choice. They may take the book home to share with parents and can change their book on their next visit to the library.

Useful video

 A parent's explanation of 'Jolly Phonics'


Short video to explain how to say the different phonemes (sounds)